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tv   Today  NBC  October 21, 2012 8:00am-9:00am EDT

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good morning. remembering george mcgovern, a former presidential candidate known for his outspoken opposition to the vietnam war dies at the age of 90. this morning a look back at his life and legacy. battleground: florida. president obama and mitt romney getting set to face off here in the sunshe state tomorrow in their final debate. the polls show a razor tight race with voters here potentially holding the key to the white house. we're live in tampa on the front lines. and too young -- a startling new documentary shines a light on how young girls are influenced sexually by pop culture and social media. why you may want to keep a closer eye on what your kids are watching. "today," sunday, october 21st, 2012. >> announcer: from nbc news,
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this is a special edition of "today" decision 2012. battleground: florida with lester holt live from tampa, florida, and jenna wolfe, live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza. good morning, everyone. welcome to a special edition of "today" on a sunday morning. i'm lester holt reporting from the university of tampa, our first stop in a tour of the three key battleground states in this year's presidential election. we'll be doing this the next few weekends. my colleague, jenna wolfe is back in studio 1a. jenna, good morning, good to see you. >> it's nice to see the sunshine state is the center of the political universe right now, the thi and final debate between the two candidates, lester. >> yeah, that's a day away from the final face-to-face showdown between president obama and governor romney down in boca raton, florida, as it has in the past, just might hold the key to
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winning the white house. there are 29 electoral votes up for grabs. the last nbc news/"wall street journa journal"/marist poll shows the candidates in a statistical dead heat. most other polls show the race just as tight. now florida voters have an uncanny ability to pick a winner. four years ago the race went to barack obama when he topped john mccain by 3%. 2004 george bush beat john kerry by five points and, of course, few will forget florida took center stage in 2000, that razor thin margin that separated the candidates. after a recount dispute george w. bush won by just more than 500 votes. and right now we're in the center of it all. hillsborough county, which includes tampa, has picked the presidential winner every time but once since 1960. it's a place that mirrors the nation, the economy has been hit hard here, unemployment is a big problem. coming up, we'll look at why florida is such an important prize in the race for the white house. i'll also speak to former florida governor charlie crist.
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at one point he was on john mccain's short list to be his running mate. now he supports president obama. we'll also change gears and ask from he wielian gonzalez tor woods to animals runningild, why does it seem so many wacky stories happen here in the sunshine state and, jenna, i know you have a lot to get to as well from new york. yes, lester. also coming up, we'll talk to the makers of a disturbing new documentary that looks at how pop culture and social media sexualizes girls at a disturbingly young age. and have you wondered what it's like to party like britain's royal family. pippa is out with a new book that includes tips on planning the perfect get together. and later, there is law and there is order here at the "today" show this morning. we are previewing the 300th episode of "svu" and a special guest star, i won't name names, because that's just rude, but we're going to go behind the scenes with the show's star,
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mariska hargitay. >> i'll name names. it was you. do you remember your line? >> of course, the auxiliary officer. i don't want to show off because it's eight brilliant words. >> the whole episode. >> just the whole episode came down to that one line but let's assume for tv purposes it did. >> all right. we'll get to to that, jenna, thanks. let's begin with the battleground: florida. with the race for the white house now in the homestretch, both the obama and romney campaigns are trying to sway voters here. that's because, once again, it seems all roads to the white house pass through the sunshine state. unlike a lot of folks who come here, these visitors don't come for the sunshine. >> we will win florida. >> we're going to win in november. >> but rather the political glow that comes with winning florida's 29 electoral votes, more than 10% of a number needed to win the election. >> how are you doing? >> florida is what i call a
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checkmate state for president obama. if he somehow carries florida, then it blocks any significant realistic path for mitt romney to get to 270 electoral votes. >> which, of course, is why both president obama and governor romney have spent an enormous amount of time, energy and money in florida. >> here in florida we're not better off under president obama. his budget cuts medicaid by one-third. >> since may, obama has spent close to $55 million in florida and romney close to $35 million. for candidates, florida is demographically challenging. >> florida, more than any other state is basically america's microcosm. southerners live in the north, northeasterners live in the south, midwesterners live in the southwest. >> historically a recipe for political drama. >> florida, florida, florida. >> yes, it's the state that held the nation in suspense 12 years ago in that infamous bush versus gore ballot recount. with this election expected to be close, too, all are focused
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on bellwether tampa and hillsborough county. it sits at the end of a corridor, interstate 4, with which cuts across the center of the state. on this side the democratic leaning south, over here the republican strongholds to the north and it's not out of the question this election could be decided by how the folks who live along this corridor vote. >> both parties try to turn out their end of the state and then everybody battles over the i-had corridor to get the swing vote. >> politics with a cup of cuban coffee and a side of passion is always on the menu at the west tampa sandwich shop. >> barack obama cannot run the biggest business in the world. he doesn't have the wherewithal to do it. >> and romney says i reached across the aisle to massachusetts. he vetoed 888 bills. >> eventually the conversation always comes around to -- >> jobs, jobs, jobs. >> tampa, like the rest of florida, is struggling to recover from the bad economy. what are the issues that will
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decide -- determine your vote? >> the economy. the economy really hasn't gone anywhere in the last four years. >> window installer gregory brown says with local jobs scarce, he sometimes travels hundreds of miles to find work. >> i had $30,000 in the bank when president obama went into office. now we have a tenth of that. and i'm living paycheck to paycheck. >> and the area has been the epicenter of florida's home foreclosure crisis, though sales appear to be picking up. >> we had a better unemployment number, we would see a better housing market. >> americans will be sparpd the excitement of hanging chads and butterfly ballots, florida still promises lots of drama this coming election night. >> this critical swing state can be decided by 500 votes in 2000. so everything that happens in florida is going to matter. >> charlie crist is a former
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florida republican governor who was on john mccain's short list as a running mate four years ago. he now considers himself an independent and an obama support er. governor, good morning. it's nice to be in your state. >> good morning, lester. thanks for coming to florida. >> i want to talk to you about where the election stands, but let me get really a sense of where you stand right now. you were, as we said, a repub c republican governor. you are now supporting obama. a lot of critics say you've been a political opportunist in this case. if you had not lost your race for senate, if you were still the republican governor, would you still be pulling for obama? >> absolutely. i've gotten to know this man, lester, and the president really has helped our florida. my last two years as governor were his first two years as president of the united states. and time after time he and his administration came whether it was the recovery act when he came here just a month after he was sworn in to ft. myers, fl r
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florida, helping our teachers, our police officers, our firefighters make sure that we stabilize the economy that is starting to come up now. that's the good news. again, less than a year later we had a massive oil spill,s as everyone knows in the gulf of mexico. yet again, president obama was here helping the sunshine state. helping florida. this is a guy who has really reached across the aisle, was truly bipartisan, wanted to help people because we were in a time of need. >> you know, governor, i talked to a lot of voters in my time here and many who voted for president obama last night time, and they expressed some hesitation, some disappointment, they're looking around. you know, the economy is starting to come back but unemployment is still higher here than the national average, in the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis. why shouldn't people look at the president and say you should have done better? we could have been better off? >> well, he was dealt a very difficult deck of cards, to put it mildly. he comes into office and we have the worst recession since the great depression. what could be more difficult
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than that? but, you know, he had a cool head. he did the right thing. passed the recovery act. that was not easy to do. i was happy to support it. i think it's important that people realize and remember where we were in late '08, early '09, and president obama, it took courage for him to do what was right, to make sure we had the resources we needed. li listen, as governor i was looking at a hole in our budget. it was deeper than the mariana trench. provided the resources to help our teachers, help our firefighters, try to stablize the economy. i shuer to think where we would be if he didn't do the right thing back then. >> you look at the polls. we noted they are neck and neck. we're used to florida providing a lot of drama in these elections. is the state more red than blue? >> florida is purple. it's about as diverse as any state in the country.
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as chuck todd, i think, described we're probably a true microcosm of america as any state in the union. and i think as florida goes, so will go the rest of the country. i believe the president will win. i look forward to the debate tomorrow. i grew up in st. petersburg just across the bay. florida is pivotal. flo florida, florida, florida. and i know it will be again come election day here and people are already voting by mail and soon early voting starts october 27th. >> well, it's good to be here. governor crist, thank you for spending some time with us this morning. we appreciate it, sir. >> thank you, lester. david gregory is moderator of "meet the press." david, good morning to you. >> good morning, lester. >> before we talk about the election and the debate, i want to get your thoughts on the death, the passing of senator george mcgovern. >> well, certainly a liberal lion for a good part of the latter part of this last century, influential as an anti-war voice, for sure, and such an integral part of
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watergate as well in terms of his campaign being targeted. so an historical figure for sure. he will certainly be missed. >> let me get your thoughts now on the upcoming did debate, the last debate here in florida between president obama and mitt romney. the topic tomorrow is going to be foreign policy and they're in a state that mirrors so much of the problems of the economy. will this debate speak to the all-important undecided voter this ga late in the game? >> we know that a lot of people are interested in foreign affairs. there's a lot that's been on the campaign trail about libya, for instance. news this morning about iran that we'll deal with on the program this morning about whether there's the prospect now for direct talks between the administration and iranian officials over their nuclear ambitions. and certainly in florida the issue of obama administration relationship with the israeli government. so there's a lot that i think captures people's attention and i think it's worth remembering that any president has a great deal of influence, maybe more
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influence than even domestically when it comes to foreign affairs and national security. and this issue of the debt and america's standing in the world is tied to america's wealth. so look for governor romney to bring up the economy despite the topic being foreign policy. >> and who do you have on "meet the press" this morning, david? >> we'll talk to marco rubio of florida, are senator rob portman of ohio will join us as well, the republican from that state, battleground state, and david axelrod from the obama campaign. >> all right, david. we'll see you a bit later on. thank you very much. and time now for a check of the morning's other top stories. cnbc's courtney reagan is standing by. good morning. hi, good morning to you, lester. good morning, everyone. we begin with more on the death of u.s. senator george mcgovern. he passed away a few hours ago reportedly from natural causes at a hospice in sioux falls, south dakota, surround ed by hi family and lifelong friends. he was 90 years old. in the 1960s mcgovern was known for his opposition to the
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growing u.s. involvement in the vietnam war. in 1972 the proud liberal lost the presidential election to richard nixon in the second biggest landslide in american political history. again, u.s. senator george mcgovern has died at age 90. the white house says it's willing to talk to iran about its nuclear ambitions but that there's no deals right now. nbc's mike viqueira has more from the white house. mike, good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you. and as of this morning, courtney, both sides, the united states and the iranian government, are denying a report in "the new york times" that they have agreed to sit down one-on-one after the u.s. elections and discuss iran's nuclear program. of course that program has been a source of tension not only to the united states and iran and the rest of the world and iran for that matter but also between the united states and israel. you remember nbenjamin netanyah, the prime minister with the united nations just a couple of weeks ago, drew that famous red line, urging the united states to get tougher with iran. but all parties agree on one
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thing. iran must not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. they are processing uranium right now. it is not yet weapons grade. two weeks before an election, the day before the eve of that foreign policy debate, that news would have been a blockbuster but a white house spokesman says sanctions are working. while the white house is willing to sit down one-on-one with iran, no such agreement has been reached at this point, courtney. >> mike, thank you. autumn gasoline prices are about to fall faster than fall foliage. inventory is rising and demand falling. prices could plunge 50 cents to a national average of $3.35 a gallon over the next few weeks, and that could provide a boost for the economy and possibly become a factor in next month's presidential election. the death toll from an outbreak of fungal meningitis is still rising. the centers for disease control says 23 have died, another 284 people have been infected. the cdc has linked the outbreak to potentially contaminate d steroid shots made at the new england compounding center in massachusetts which is now under
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investigation. and finally, the cal golden bears will become a little more golden next year. missy franklin will join her olympic coach who headed the 2012 women's swim team for the london olympics. franklin, who won four gold medals in london, will enter her freshman year at the university of california at berkeley next september. that's the news. now back to jenna and dylan. we wish her the very best. good news for her. diylan dreyer is here with check on the weather. hi, dylan. >> it's pretty nice out. >> anyway, so thanks for your time. we're going to take a short break. oh, so there's other things to talk about. go right ahead. >> other than you i have more to talk about. >> oh! she's been here like three weeks, and she is digging me. go right in there. welcome. we are going to see pretty nice weather across the country. a few scattered showers across portions of northern dakotas but we are keeping an eye out for a big storm to move into the west coast tomorrow from central california up into oregon. we could end up with some of the mountain regions are over a foot of snow especially above 5,500
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feet. the rest of the country today does look nice and quiet. that's a look at the weather acro across the country. and that's your latest weather. >> dylan, thank you very much. coming up next on "today" you want to party like a member of the royal family? kate middleton's sister pippa comes out with a new book to show you how. was unbelievable. this juicere what a bargain! [ female announcer ] sometimes a good deal turns out to be not such a good deal. but bounty gives you value you can see.
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in this lab demo, one sheet of bounty leaves this surface cleaner than two sheets of the leading ordinary brand. so you can clean this mess with half as many sheets. bounty has trap and lock technology to soak up big spills and lock them in. why use more when you can use less? bounty. the clean picker upper. too bad the guys aren't here we're clear. ok, swarm! swarm! hello [ female announcer ] pillsbury chocolate chip cookies. let the making begin want to party like a royal. kate middleton's sister has some
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tips. more now from london. >> reporter: you have to happened it to pippa middleton, turning one figure hugging dress into a book deal. it's less than 18 months since she grabbed the spotlight at her sister's wedding but her book "celebrate" in "the mail" on sunday's newspaper. >> glamorous pictures and a bit of an insight into what makes pippa tick in the real world. >> reporter: it's all about entertaining and that's something pippa knows about. the middleton family made its money selling party favors. kate's younger sister won't be writing about that risque bash she went to back in april that got a little embarrassing. this is cupcakes and candy. >> for pippa, who has had a little bit of media problems of her own, this was a chance to hit the reset button, talk about something she is clearly passionate about, and also really kind of introduce herself to the u.s.
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>> reporter: pippa seems to like life the other side of the pond, enjoying a trip to new york last month which some tabloids say included looking at apartments. it's all the more surprising she now seems unlikely to be doing the circuit in the u.s. a spokesperson for her publisher says she won't be doing any interviews. some think it's because pippa doesn't want to be asked about her sister's topless photos. other think she is is being careful not to upset the royal family. >> pippa is rather offended that she is cashing in on the royal collection. >> reporter: who knows, maybe the queen has some advice. she knows about having people around. it could mean placing more material if pippa writes a sequel. and still to come on a sunday edition of "today," a new documentary looking at how technology and social media are shaping the sexual identity of young fwir girls. to roll over my old 401(k) into a fidelity ira. man: okay, no problem.
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than the cottonelle care routine. president obama: i'm barack obamthis anncr: victims. dependent. that's what mitt romney called forty-seven percent... of americans. including people on medicare. but what about his plan for you? romney would replace guaranteed benefits with a voucher system. seniors could pay six thousand dollars more a year. a plan aarp says would undermine medicare.
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you're no earned your benefits. don't let mitt romney take them away. so normally i like to sap you with my crazy workouts. you took off to florida. i sapped these two sorry souls into taking this -- >> and warned them not to do it. >> we did it for a great cause. we have some pictures? we don't have it. we'll get it later. lester, we missed you very, very much. >> we did. >> i told the two of them, don't do 0 it. >> but they did anyway. and now i love them. [ male announcer ] if barack obama is re-elected,
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what will the next four years be like? one: the debt will grow from $16 trillion to $20 trillion. two: 20 million americans could lose their employer-based health care. three: taxes on the middle class will go up by $4,000. four: energy prices will continue to go up. and five: $716 billion in medicare cuts that hurt current seniors. five reasons we can't afford four more years of barack obama. i'm mitt romney and i approve this message.
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athat's what the plan georged allen supports...ama. would cost our economy. newspapers called it "economically destructive." like allen's votes to give tax breaks to companies... that ship jobs overseas, his economic plan would... help big corporations, devastating the middle class. allen even voted against tax breaks for small businesses. virginia can't afford to go back to george allen. the democratic senatorial campaign committee... is responsible for the content of this advertising. the time right now is 8:26, taking a live look outside, another great day on tap, and if you like the warmer weather, you're in luck. good morning, everyone. it is october 21st, 2012, here is a look at some of our top
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stories. a man is in the hospital after a violent robbery. he was shot and robbed just before 11:30 last night. he was taken to the hospital and should be okay. so far police have not made any arrests in that case. a 7-year-old girl is recovering after she was burned by anti-freeze. paramedics were called to her home in the 10700 block -- she was sprayed while her father was working on his car. and metro riders can now use the new south entrance at the dupont station. it was closed for eight months for the caselator replacement project. we're going to check your forecast next wi
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and it looks like the weather will not interfere with any of your outdoor plans today, let's hear from chuck. >> what a beautiful cay to get your second half of the weekend under way. temperatures in the 40ss for most. the cold spot is in virginia. meanwhile, st. mary's county is at 53. here is your planner for today, a clear cool start leads to a sunny and beautiful day today. if you need if warmer, we'll be
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in the ♪ ♪ we are back now on this sunday morning, october 21st, 2012. you can play a little bit more. that's the university of tampa's marching band playing katy perry's "fireworks." i'm lester holt. jenna is holding down the fort snoud studio 1a. what a gorgeous architecture here at the university of tampa. used to be a hotel. teddy roosevelt and the roughriders among the famous guests here had a big part of the skyline here in tampa.
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we have the band. thanks for you guys for coming out. we have a nice crowd here. a bit earlier i said are you all students? and this lady looked at me, no, you're not a student. you just came by to say hi. well, nice to meet you. you can see the political passion. how many obama folks here? [ applause ] how many romney folks here? [ applause ] how many jenna wolfe fans here? [ applause ] >> that's a dangerous question, lester. that is a very dangerous question. i almost stepped out of the camera shot. not to be outdone, just so you know, the fine folks here all brought instruments. i didn't know you guys were going to have them so i told them to put them down otherwise they were going to play a big katy perry song as well. i wanted to make sure you knew we were covered on both parts up and down the east coast. come up this half hour, a lot to get to. sex, social media, and the impact on young girls today. it's really an interesting topic. a startling new documentary
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talks about how technology is shaping the personal lives of teenaged and adolescent girls. the filmmakers will be here to talk about how young people are growing up rather quickly in the cyber age. we'll talk about that. plus, florida is home to beaches, warm weather, and some of the weirdest stories, frankly, that we cover from the wild animals to the tabloid headlines. a look at why there's so much wackiness to cover in this state. >> we were waiting for reaction from the crowd. and then "law & order: svu" is airing its 300th episode this week. i made a very, very brief guest appearance. of all things a tv reporter. we'll go behind the scenes with the show's stars to talk about what made the show tick for amazing 14 seasons. one of the best shoots i was ever on. one of my favorite shows. so this was an incredibly fun bucket listed moments as i tweet this had morning. but first, we want to head over to dylan dreyer again to get another check of the weather.
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hi, dylan. brief but critical. that's the most important thing. we are looking at some pretty nice weather across the country today. a weak cold front moving into the western great lakes that will try to give a couple of showers, but the bigger story is tomorrow across the west coast from central californi story is tomorrow across the west coast. we'll see our first big storm of the season, an inch of rainfall is possible across san francisco and even the mountain regions could end up with sixth to 12 inches of snow. higher in the elevation the more snow, and showers across the western great lakes, but the rest of the country is pretty mild and the temperatures staying aren't 15 and even 20 degrees above normal for this time of year. now here is a peek out your window. >> i'm chuck bell, and our temperatures around here are close to average today, but there is a huge warm up coming. temperatures now 40s and low 50s
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for most, but with the sunshine, things will warm up quickly. here is the four-day forecast. 72 tomorrow, 76 tuesday, and near 80 degrees by the middle of the week, have a good week, everybody. and it is sunday, and we know what that means. it means it is sunday night football night in america. and tonight we are looking at the steelers heading on over to cincinnati to take on the bengals at paul brown stadium. clear and cool, 55-60 degrees. absolutely perfect weather for the game later on tonight. jen jenna? dylan, thank you very much. so it used to be children learned about sex from having the talk with their parents, but the internet is changing all of that. a new documentary now looks at how technology and pornography are shaping the sexual identity of young girls. michelle franzen has details. >> reporter: the culture of sex is not just for after hours anymore, from the constant barrage of sexy ads, reality tv
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shows, and videos. ♪ ♪ call me mr. flintstone i can make your bedrock ♪ >> reporter: graphic form has become the norm. >> if i had to say how many guys had porn apps on their phone, i would guess eight out of ten. >> reporter: a new documentary, sexy baby, takes a provocative peek into the lives of young girls and women growing up and living in the digital age. >> we're like the first generation to have what we have. i mean, we are the pioneers. >> reporter: 12-year-old winifred is the youngest profiled as filmmakers try to put a face on what they call the seismic cultural shift due to the internet. >> we make ourselves seem like we're up for anything and, like, in a way all of this internet stuff kind of traps you.
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>> reporter: experts say the film offers a new perspective on the same old problems and pressures kids face like fitting in and growing up too soon. >> i do trust you. >> you said you don't want to see any slutty photos. >> reporter: offering parents a chance to start a dialogue on and off line. >> but parents need to be aware of what's out there, not put their head in the sand, and start having a conversation with their kids because if they don't, somebody else will. and that is really out of their hands. >> reporter: for "today," michelle franzen, nbc news, new york. jill bauer co-directed "sexy baby." a "today" contributor, good morning to all of you guys. jill, let me start with you. you made this documentary in the hopes parents would perhaps learn something from their teens and their young daughters. after three years of filming, how worried are you about the next generation of young girls? >> i'm concerned. we're both concerned and that's why we made the film.
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when we opened at tribeca and a lot of parents came to the film, they -- a lot of moms and, mostly moms, were craig and they said thank you so much for bringing this into the world so we can start this dialogue. >> it was eye opening. it was eye opening. the 12-year-old featured in the film, the one who said her generation are pioneers when it comes to navigating the minefield of technology, there's pressure to like things, facebook and follow on twitter, how does social media paul into all of this? >> when we were all kids, we would come home from school at the end of the day and everything was sort of over. you could be a nerd, hide in your room, do whatever. and now there's this sort of 24/7 pressure to put yourself out there, to get likes on facebook, which, for the most part, happens. you put a sex y photo up you'll get more likes. >> girls today by nature are dressing sexier, they see what's
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being tweeted and what's on facebook and are trying to be more like those girls. how involved should parents be? what should their role be in all of this? >> very involved. they should, first of all, as kids are younger, there should be limits. they should go into their computers and put limits on and limit what they're allowed to do, how often 0 they're allowed to do it, look at what they're wearing, what they're baying for them. but, moreover, you can't just limit things. you have to be talking to your kids. so from the get-go you really have to be saying this is what's out there and this is why i don't want to you do it because we know the oversexualization of girls leads to depression, to anxiety, to low self-esteem, to eating disorders. there's a lot of risk here. also, parents need to be monitoring. models wear things that are completely oversexualized and inappropriate and of course their daughters are going to model after them. but, moreover, you need to ask
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your kids what they're thinking. it's not just lecturing them. that won't work. you need to talk with them by saying, what do you think? why do you want to do this? what are you really looking for? and listen to them and be able to respond with not only do our morals and values don't do this but understand what they're after in liked and r reassure them in certain ways. >> and maybe this film goes towards helping them have had a discussion with the kids. have you guys gotten any feed back so far from parents, from moms? >> absolutely. absolutely. we've had parents afterwards as jill was saying, just say thank you. it's a really uncomfortable conversation to have but we've got to just deal with it and get comfortable. >> if you talk from early on, it's less uncomfortable. if you drop in when it's all -- then it's harder. >> and what's the takeaway? >> and that's why we chose winifred. her parents are very open with her and they talk to her about everything and her other two sisters and her brother.
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that is the takeaway. real will he be open and accessible to your children and just talk to them. you really have to talk to them about what they're seeing everywhere. everywhere. >> it's a hard conversation but obviously a very important one. jill, ronna, gail, thank you for being here. up next, only in florida. what is it about the sunshine state that makes it home to some of the weirdest, whackiest news stories? we'll take a look. ht side. an intense burning sensation like somebody had set it on fire. and the doctor said, cindie, you have shingles. he said, you had chickenpox when you were a little girl... i said, yes, i did. i don't think anybody ever thinks they're going to get shingles. but it happened to me. for more of the inside story, visit
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welcome back to tampa, the university of tampa. florida is home to psychics, gator farms, and lots of offbeat news. let's face it, here in florida weird can be the norm. in the 1980s an advertising campaign for the state was florida, the rules are different here. and to some extent they still are. my colleague mark potter, a florida native, i should point out, is here with more. good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you. when something odd happens here,
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and that's a regular event, are people throw up their hands and say, only in florida. it can be an unusual place but it's why we love it. it's also very important politically despite its many quirks. around the country florida is seen as america's playground where tourists come to escape their problems back home for a while. >> romney, romney. >> reporter: with almost 19 million residents and 29 electoral votes in a winner take all election, florida is also a political powerhouse, a swing state, courted heavily by the presidential candidates. which for miami based humorist and author dave barry is terrifying given the year 2000 hanging chads election mess here. >> we've already had what a lot of us couldn't figure out how to punch a hole in a piece of cardboard which isn't that surprising when you see florida people drive. >> reporter: many say because sunny florida is so diverse, home to people around the country and the world, it can't
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help making headlines who can forget the furor over elian gonzalez, the cuban boy who arrived on an inner tube, to be whisked away by federal agents. the list of even hotter stories is endless. >> there's an alligator in my kitchen. >> mr. plucky may be an outlaw but he's not a criminal. >> that hurt. >> i think he's playing hooky. >> a traveling mon can can i. >> reporter: of course tiger woods, anna nicole smith and casey anthony stories played out here. >> a giant weirdness magnet buried under florida somewhere. like o.j., he could go anywhere in the world. he came here. >> reporter: but in the florida mix is a serious explanation for why the sunshine state is hard to predict politically with so many transplants from so many places, it's neither a traditional red nor blue state. >> we are purple. we are a purple state which
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means we cannot be relied upon. it cannot be taken for grant that had florida will be going one way or the other. >> reporter: the corridor along interstate 4 connecting tampa, orlando and daytona beach is famously independent and a sought after political prize. so are the many hispanics, african-americans, and seniors who are very organized. many worried about medicare. others afraid of what happens with too much spending and taxation. >> people stopped working. kind of like france. >> reporter: and again, i'll say it, only in florida. humor aside, the presidential candidates are takinging the state very seriously and it's no surprise in this most purple state, lester, that the race is very tight. polls say it's neck and neck. >> i'm glad you and dave barry can joke about it. they're going to run me out of town on a rail for talking about this. >> reporter: we have you covered. >> i'm from california. we were the first in nuts for a long time. mark potter, thank you very much. just ahead, jenna takes us behind the scenes of "law &
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order: svu" with a sneak peek of her guest appearance. the capital one cash rewards card gives you a 50% annual bonus. and everyone, but her... likes 50% more cash. but, i have an idea. do you want a princess dress? yes how about some cupcakes? yes lollipop? yes! do you want an etch a sketch? yes! do you want 50% more cash? no you got talent. [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card. with a 50% annual cash bonus it's the card for people who like more cash. what's in your wallet? i usually say that. the freshenator. the buddy system. the do si go. the two-handed tango. el cleaño. [ female announcer ] nothing leaves you feeling cleaner and fresher than the cottonelle care routine. try it. then name it. [ female announcer ] breast cancer touches all of us. and all of us can join the fight, with save lids to save lives. redeem lids from over 100 general mills products. together we can make a difference.
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find lids now at walmart. and balanced the budget every year. and tim kaine and i both cut our own pay as governors, to lead by example. mark warner and i reached across party lines to get things done.
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we were a great team in richmond and we'll be a great team in washington. i'm tim kaine and i approve this message ...because we'll work together to restore fiscal responsibility, grow our economy and create jobs. [ male announcer ] tim kaine. bringing people together to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. just the beat gets me excited. for 14 seasons ayad allawi has provided drama and entertainment. for the series' 300th episode the producers wanted to up the ante so they asked lestory make a cameo appearance. but lester wasn't available. so they cast me in the role of a lifetime. take a look. >> action. >> never have two instrumental beats stood for so much law and order. >> the squad known as the special victims unit. >> this special victims unit is made up of one of the strongest
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ensembles cast in the business anchored by mariska hargitay as elizabeth benson. >> she has been watching. >> the show is famous for its long line of a-list guest stars. >> there's an he can defensemenic of violence in this city. >> the nypd is doing the right thing. >> can i play the terrified wife. >> and for the show's 300th episode a slightly lesser known guest star playing the role of reporter jenna wolfe, reporter jenna wolfe. it's a flashback scene. i have one line, but that one line is crucial for the plot of the entire show. but this assignment required a completely new level of preparation. you are the auxiliary officer who led them to the lunch box. even an "svu" star -- auxiliary.
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>> auxiliary. you're doing great. >> and film veteran -- >> how many one armed men are there? does this help? ♪ >> no. no. how does that help? and finally, finally, it was shoot day. i cannot believe i'm on the set of "svu." i have not slept in 8 1/2 days. this is so exciting. boug bottom line, jenna, do not make a scene. don't make a scene. i'm here. the key was to play it cool, like i'd done this 1,000 times before. that backfired real fast. benson. i may have an office at the "today" show but i have a trailer on the set of svu. jenna wolfe played by jenna wolfe. i'll never get that confused. only a few precious moments left to practice. steven landry, a young auxiliary --
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and get into character. steven landry led detectives to the missing boy's lunch box. my confidence was boiling over. let's go do this tv thing. but then a plot twist i never expected. oh, my scene. i'm so excited about this. they changed the line? stephen lomatin, a young auxiliary officer -- it was landry. so with my new line ready, a little bit nervous, i finally transformed into reporter jenna wolfe. it was kind of a stretch. any advice for me, last minute advice? >> be yourself. >> with that i was ready for my role of a lifetime. >> background. >> and action. >> it was stephen lomintin, a young auctixiliary officers whod police to the missing boy's
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lunch box. how emotional was that for you. >> it was very emotional. >> so brilliant, they wanted just a little more. >> video 17, take one. action. >> it's been over a week now and still no sign of young hector rodriguez. p police are asking if you have any information, you are to call the tip line 212-555-01001. emmy, no emmy? where are we at? >> i think you have a chance. >> newscast from the week hector rodriguez disappeared. >> and best of all, i didn't let the team down. >> nothing more flattering than having someone of your stature come on the character. >> can you do that for me? can you pull a few strings? >> we'll see. your first name again? >> you and i are sort of like twins. >> well, thank you. >> you won an emmy for the show and i had a line in this episode. i feel like -- >> we're sisters. >> people cannot even tell us apart at this point. >> we're sisters. >> see, i fell right in with the
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special victims unit who have had 300 episodes and counting. lester, look what you missed. you had your big moment and i finally get to share some of the spotlight with you. >> that's so cool. all i want to say is, dum-dum. >> and thank you for the guitar playing. you practiced that incessantly for three weeks. >> i'm here for you. >> the 300th episode of l"law & order: svu" airs this wednesday at 9:00 here on nbc. we had a blast. it was so much fun. if there's a chance that these guys want to ask me back, i would say yes in 1,000 different languages possible. so go ahead. did you guys like it? >> yeah. >> love it. >> we're going to take a break. we're back. my friend told me about a great new way to get deals. it's called bankamerideals, from bank of america. i choose the cash back deals in my mobile or online banking. i just use my bank of america debit or credit card when i pay.
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gas-x. the gas xperts. marywe invest in them.umber one in america becauses. but we can do even more. every year marylanders spend five hundred and fifty million dollars at casinos in other states. question 7 keeps that maryland money in maryland through expansion of gaming in maryland. it will mean hundreds of millions of dollars for our schools. as governor, i can promise you, that money will go to education. that's the law and that's what we'll do.
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vote for question seven. president obama: i'm barack obamthis anncr: victims. dependent. that's what mitt romney called forty-seven percent... of americans. including people on medicare. but what about his plan for you? romney would replace guaranteed benefits with a voucher system. seniors could pay six thousand dollars more a year. a plan aarp says would undermine medicare. you're no earned your benefits. don't let mitt romney take them away. i just want to say a big thank you to the folks here at the university of tampa for being great hosts. passionate politically invested folks here. that's symbolic of a state that will be very important in this upcoming election. we thank everybody for being here today. i will be back here tonight with more on "nbc nightly news."
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jenna? lester, thank you very much. and thanks to these fine ladies. we had a good time. we held down the fort incredibly well. lester, we miss you. do your florida business down there and bring it back here to new york because it's not the same without you. >> next sunday we'll be in have a have a continuing our battleground. right now we want to leave you with the spartan band playing us off the air. have a great day, everybody. ♪
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new this morning, breaking news, former senator george mcgovern dies. more about the outspoken leader that serving on capitol hill. >> and the long walk up gets easier at one metro stop. a lot of people will be excited about that. welcome to news 4 today, it is sunday, october 21st, 2012. taking a look outside, nothing to complain about, we're in for a good day. >> hey richard and angie, good morning to both of you and everybody, off to a bright and cool start this morning, temperatures will respond very nicely to all of the sunshine out there.


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